ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, May 02, 2008

Kantor Video Hoax

A video was circulating the Obama-supporting netroots this morning, purporting to show Mickey Kantor calling the voters in Indiana "sh!t" and "white n****rs." The clip was from the documentary War Room, which chronicled Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign.

DailyKos, DU, et al pushed the story hard, hoping to impact the Indiana primary next week.

Unfortunately, The Politico got a hold of the director of War Room and found out that the clip was doctored. Here's the original video, which shows the exchange at 4:30:



In actuality, Kantor is saying that the people in the White House must be "sh!tting" themselves over the poll results from Indiana.

Now, the interesting thing is the reaction to this dirty trick:

The DUers and Kossacks have pulled the original posts and, while some diarists are still arguing it's real, others are now claiming that this is a reverse dirty trick by the Clinton campaign, seeking the sympathy vote after the video was demonstrated to be a hoax.

[...]
The video clip of Kantor talking to Carville and Stephanopolous is most likely intended to get Obama supporters to embrace a fake smear. It's an old trick people and it works.

The story isn't going to be that a Clinton aide back in 92 insulted Indiana. The story is going to be that Obama supporters pushed a fake video trying to smear Hillary.

This is classic Rovian shit. We all use the phrase and talk about the evils of Rove but we always forget what that actually means.
[...]

Plausible? No. Deranged? Yes.

The MSM, as represented by MSNBC, have corrected the record, but don't ask the obvious follow up questions.

Finally, conservative bloggers, such as Allah at HotAir, are asking, "who doctored the video?!?!" which is now the central question in the story.

It seems that when it comes to Democratic Party politics, only the conservatives are interested in finding out the truth.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

This week in Mob politics

Thats a nice endowment you have there.. It would be a shame if anything would happen to it....

“Why do we want to tax the poor all the time, but we let off the hook the
richest of the rich?” said State Rep. Angelo Scaccia, a Democrat, said during
the course of Monday’s debate, according to the Metrowest Daily News. “We’re not going to break them,” he added of colleges’ endowment funds. “We just want a little.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Obama, Wright, and the Left - A Common Belief in Blame America First

Excellent op-ed by Charles Krauthammer on the Wright kerfluffle:

[...]
Obama's turning surprise about Wright into something to be counted against whites-- one of the more clever devices in that shameful, brilliantly executed, 5,000-word intellectual fraud in Philadelphia -- now stands discredited by Obama's own admission of surprise. But Obama's liberal acolytes are not daunted. They were taken in by the first great statement on race: the Annunciation, the Chosen One comes to heal us in Philly. They now are taken in by the second: the Renunciation.

Obama's newest attempt to save himself after Wright's latest poisonous performance is now declared the new final word on the subject. Therefore, any future ads linking Obama and Wright are preemptively declared out of bounds, illegitimate, indeed "race-baiting" (a New York Times editorial, April 30).

On what grounds? This 20-year association with Wright calls into question everything about Obama: his truthfulness in his serially adjusted stories of what he knew and when he knew it; his judgment in choosing as his mentor, pastor and great friend a man he just now realizes is a purveyor of racial hatred; and the central premise of his campaign, that he is the bringer of a "new politics," rising above the old Washington ways of expediency. It's hard to think of an act more blatantly expedient than renouncing Wright when his show, once done from the press club instead of the pulpit, could no longer be "contextualized" as something whites could not understand and only Obama could explain in all its complexity.

Turns out the Wright show was not that complex after all. Everyone understands it now. Even Obama.
The Left is trying to bury its head in the sand regarding the deficiencies of Obama. In fact, the reaction by the superdelegates to the revelations - all previously mentioned, but never actually questioned - is to throw their support behind Obama.

Since this blogs inception, we have poked fun of some of the more idiotic statements by and beliefs of the Moonbat left. The conspirazoid racist rhetoric of Jeremiah Wright and the unreconstructed communism of Bill Ayers are not inconsistent with the world view of the Left.

One of our first posts on the blog was about Ward Churchill, who famously quipped that America's "chickens have come home to roost." Similarly idiotic statements by Robert Jensen, Erica Jong, et al are only the tip of the iceberg regarding the Left's true beliefs about America and its history.

Obama's supporters are the elites within the Democratic party, sharing a disdain for the American traditions which they've benefited from. Patriotism and the view that America is a force for good do not exist within them.

This is illustrated not only by Obama's relationships with a radical pastor, a radical Leftist terrorist, or a corrupt real estate developer in Chicago.

No, hints of a negative view of America are apparent in statements by his wife about not having pride in America until 2008, in Obama's unwillingness to wear a flag on his lapel (and then stand in front of 100 flags when it proves politically expedient), his unwillingness to put his hand over his heart when saying the pledge, his

These are not unique in the Obamas or the black community or in Democratic voters. They too often focus on the problems of the past and present, without recognizing the amazing good that America has done since its founding.

This is out of step with mainstream American beliefs and this is why Barack will lose (assuming that McCain is able to illuminate this fact about his opponent).

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Government Innovation on Display

Excellent Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal today, about the ineffectiveness of the government to solve a basic problem:

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

The Census Follies
May 1, 2008; Page A16

This is supposed to be the digital age, but over at the Census Bureau they're still partying like it's 1799.

The Constitution requires that the national population be counted every 10 years. This time around, the Census Bureau wanted to do things differently, ditching paper for handheld computers that Census workers could use to collect and transmit data from those who don't fill out the forms sent through the mail.
[...]
The problems first emerged in May 2007, when 1,400 handhelds were deployed for a "dress rehearsal." In the field, they proved to be slow and unreliable. The Bush Administration's official explanation is that the Census Bureau didn't get its requirements straight with the contractor, Florida-based Harris Corp. No doubt that's true – the Government Accountability Office warned all the way back in 2005 that Census did not have a good grasp of its technology needs or effective procurement. Even so, we doubt that "slow and unreliable" were part of the original specs in March 2006.

The Census Bureau decided as long ago as 2000 that handheld computers were the future, and spent four years trying to develop one in-house, with little to show for it.
Time out... even in the year 2000, who in the world would think that manufacturing your own handheld computer would be better than getting something off the shelf?

This is just idiotic!
That earlier failure led to the contract with Harris in 2006. As usual in government, no one in particular seems to be taking responsibility for the serial failures – which of course is part of the problem. There is little incentive for getting it right, because no one below the level of a political appointee ever loses a job for getting it wrong. You can even lose your job for getting it right if it means more efficiency.

In the case of the botched handhelds, the result is that the Census will now have to deploy some 600,000 temporary workers to go door to door and get the forms filled out by hand. The handhelds will still be used for "address canvassing," although even at that they can't handle more than 700 addresses at a time. For this great leap backward, taxpayers will pay $3 billion more for the census than originally estimated.

At a recent Senate Commerce hearing, Oklahoma's Tom Coburn put this in perspective: "So we're still going to pay $600, four times what the American [tax]payer should be paying, for something that can be done on a $150 BlackBerry." He added: "A $400 iPhone can do twice as much as the $600 handheld. You could buy iPhones and do all of this."

We would add that FedEx and UPS use handheld computers to track more than 22 million packages, all over the world, each and every day. Their computers work because their business depends on it. So you can know, up to the minute, when your Amazon shipment left Memphis, when it touched down in Parsippany and when it got loaded on the truck for delivery to your house. And yet the Census Bureau, with a decade to plan for it and hundreds of millions of dollars to spend, could not come up with a handheld computer to record the ages, races and addresses of those who don't respond to the mailed census survey.

We wish we could be shocked by this fiasco. But no one who's followed the IRS's decades-long failure to upgrade a computer system built in the 1960s, or the Federal Aviation Administration's reliance on vacuum tubes in the age of global positioning systems, can really pretend to be surprised.

At the Senate hearings last month, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez was all apologies. But in the end, the Census will get the extra $3 billion it now "needs" to make up for a decade-long failure to perform. As happens all too often in Washington, failure will be "punished" with more money to fix what could have been done right the first, or even second, time.

Even Harris Corp., which was given the original $600 million contract for the Census computers, will now rake in at least $1.3 billion for providing one-third as many handhelds, which will do only one-half the work originally intended. Everyone seems to agree that Harris is not to blame, but we can't imagine the company would prosper in the private sector with a similar result.

We keep hearing that the era of big government is back, and all of the presidential candidates are promising that Uncle Sam can and should do so much more for us. Here's a radical idea: Before it takes on more obligations, maybe the government should first have to show that it is capable of doing in remotely competent fashion what the Constitution has obliged it to do for some 220 years.
I for one can't wait for the new innovations in universal health care!

Many on the Left will claim that this is merely the Bush Administration failing to govern effectively. However, it should be noted that unlike of the politician and political appointees at the top, the entrenched bureaucracies actually run the ship and often ignore the strategic directions of the executive (see the Department of State as one example).

And, this story points out that the era of Big Government is alive and well under W. If this is what's pissing off the Moonbat Left - if they think that Bush is cutting too much - I can't imagine what the government will look like if they're in charge:
Hiring leaps in public sector
First-quarter gain most since 2002

By Dennis Cauchon
USA TODAY

Federal, state and local governments are hiring new workers at the fastest pace in six years, helping offset job losses in the private sector.

Governments added 76,800 jobs in the first three months of 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

That's the biggest jump in first-quarter hiring since a boom in 2002 that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. By contrast, private companies collectively shed 286,000 workers in the first three months of 2008. That job loss has led many economists to declare the country is in a recession.

Job numbers for April, out Friday, will show if the trend is continuing. Some economists say a government hiring binge could soften a recession in the short term.

"Government jobs are an important cushion for the economy when the private sector falters," says North Carolina State University economist Michael Walden.

But the job expansion could later cause financial problems for governments that are spending too much.

"More hiring has nothing to do with good government or economic policy," says economist Kenneth Brown, research director at the Rio Grande Foundation in Albuquerque. "It has everything to do with government being slow to react to economic change."

Government hiring began to boom last year around July 1, when most state and local governments started new fiscal years. Those budgets were based on forecasts established in a strong economy. In each quarter since, the total government workforce has been the most in at least six years.

State and local governments have run deficits for the last nine months, the Commerce Department reports. Tax collections went flat in the middle of 2007, but spending has continued to rise.

The USA has nearly 88,000 units of government, mostly local, that employ 22 million. Hiring has been strong at every level, from new CIA spies to preschool teachers. Some of what's happening:
[...]

uggh...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama Shocked - Shocked - That Spiritual Advisor is a Nutjob

Obama attempted to throw his spiritual adviser, Jeremiah Wright, under the Campaign bus today.

From politico:

Obama denounces Wright
[...]
The core of his message: That Wright was not only offensive, but the polar opposite of Obama's own views and politics.

"I have spent my entire adult life trying to bridge the gap between different kinds of people. That’s in my DNA, trying to promote mutual understanding to insist that we all share common hopes and common dreams as Americans and as human beings. That’s who I am, that’s what I believe, and that’s what this campaign has been about," Obama said.

"I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday," he said.

Obama also distanced himself from the man in a way he has been reluctant to in the past.

"The person that I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago," he said. "His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church."

"They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs," he said.

"If Reverend Wright thinks that’s political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn’t know me very well and based on his remarks yesterday, I may not know him as well as I thought either."

"I gave him the benefit of the doubt in my speech in Philadelphia, explaining that he has done enormous good in the church," he said. "But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS; when he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century; when he equates the U.S. wartime efforts with terrorism – then there are no exuses. They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced, and that’s what I’m doing very clearly and unequivocally here today."
[...]
I'm sorry, but this just won't fly...

It's not like Wright and his radical and ridiculous propositions are something new.

Surely Barry Obama read this New York Times article on how his spiritual adviser is controversial - from a year ago!?!?
April 30, 2007
A Candidate, His Minister and the Search for Faith
By JODI KANTOR

CHICAGO — Members of Trinity United Church of Christ squeezed into a downtown hotel ballroom in early March to celebrate the long service of their pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. One congregant stood out amid the flowers and finery: Senator Barack Obama, there to honor the man who led him from skeptic to self-described Christian.

Twenty years ago at Trinity, Mr. Obama, then a community organizer in poor Chicago neighborhoods, found the African-American community he had sought all his life, along with professional credibility as a community organizer and an education in how to inspire followers. He had sampled various faiths but adopted none until he met Mr. Wright, a dynamic pastor who preached Afrocentric theology, dabbled in radical politics and delivered music-and-profanity-spiked sermons.

Few of those at Mr. Wright’s tribute in March knew of the pressures that Mr. Obama’s presidential run was placing on the relationship between the pastor and his star congregant. Mr. Wright’s assertions of widespread white racism and his scorching remarks about American government have drawn criticism, and prompted the senator to cancel his delivery of the invocation when he formally announced his candidacy in February.
[...]
It is hard to imagine, though, how Mr. Obama can truly distance himself from Mr. Wright. The Christianity that Mr. Obama adopted at Trinity has infused not only his life, but also his campaign. He began his presidential announcement with the phrase “Giving all praise and honor to God,” a salutation common in the black church. He titled his second book, “The Audacity of Hope,” after one of Mr. Wright’s sermons, and often talks about biblical underdogs, the mutual interests of religious and secular America, and the centrality of faith in public life.
[...]
His embrace of faith was a sharp change for a man whose family offered him something of a crash course in comparative religion but no belief to call his own. “He comes from a very secular, skeptical family,” said Jim Wallis, a Christian antipoverty activist and longtime friend of Mr. Obama. “His faith is really a personal and an adult choice. His is a conversion story.
[...]
From Skepticism to Belief

This polyglot background made Mr. Obama tolerant of others’ faiths yet reluctant to join one, said Mr. Wright, the pastor. In an interview in March in his office, filled with mementos from his 35 years at Trinity, Mr. Wright recalled his first encounters with Mr. Obama in the late 1980s, when the future senator was organizing Chicago neighborhoods. Though minister after minister told Mr. Obama he would be more credible if he joined a church, he was not a believer.

“I remained a reluctant skeptic, doubtful of my own motives, wary of expedient conversion, having too many quarrels with God to accept a salvation too easily won,” he wrote in his first book, “Dreams From My Father.”

Still, Mr. Obama was entranced by Mr. Wright, whose sermons fused analysis of the Bible with outrage at what he saw as the racism of everything from daily life in Chicago to American foreign policy. Mr. Obama had never met a minister who made pilgrimages to Africa, welcomed women leaders and gay members and crooned Teddy Pendergrass rhythm and blues from the pulpit. Mr. Wright was making Trinity a social force, initiating day care, drug counseling, legal aid and tutoring. He was also interested in the world beyond his own; in 1984, he traveled to Cuba to teach Christians about the value of nonviolent protest and to Libya to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, along with the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Mr. Wright said his visits implied no endorsement of their views.
[...]
Audacity and Hope

It was a 1988 sermon called “The Audacity to Hope” that turned Mr. Obama, in his late 20s, from spiritual outsider to enthusiastic churchgoer. Mr. Wright in the sermon jumped from 19th-century art to his own youthful brushes with crime and Islam to illustrate faith’s power to inspire underdogs. Mr. Obama was seeing the same thing in public housing projects where poor residents sustained themselves through sheer belief.
[...]
Mr. Obama was baptized that year, and joining Trinity helped him “embrace the African-American community in a way that was whole and profound,” said Ms. Soetoro, his half sister.

It also helped give him spiritual bona fides and a new assurance. Services at Trinity were a weekly master class in how to move an audience. When Mr. Obama arrived at Harvard Law School later that year, where he fortified himself with recordings of Mr. Wright’s sermons, he was delivering stirring speeches as a student leader in the classic oratorical style of the black church.
[...]
In the 16 years since Mr. Obama returned to Chicago from Harvard, Mr. Wright has presided over his wedding ceremony, baptized his two daughters and dedicated his house, while Mr. Obama has often spoken at Trinity’s panels and debates. Though the Obamas drop in on other congregations, they treat Trinity as their spiritual home, attending services frequently. The church’s Afrocentric focus makes Mr. Obama a figure of particular authenticity there, because he has the African connections so many members have searched for.

To the many members who, like the Obamas, are the first generation in their families to achieve financial success, the church warns against “middleclassness,” its term for selfish individualism, and urges them to channel their gains back into the community.
[...]
At the same time, Mr. Obama’s ties to Trinity have become more complicated than those simply of proud congregation and favorite son. Since Mr. Obama announced his candidacy, the church has received threatening phone calls. On blogs and cable news shows, conservative critics have called it separatist and antiwhite.

Congregants respond by saying critics are misreading the church’s tenets, that it is a warm and accepting community and is not hostile to whites. But Mr. Wright’s political statements may be more controversial than his theological ones. He has said that Zionism has an element of “white racism.” (For its part, the Anti-Defamation League says it has no evidence of any anti-Semitism by Mr. Wright.)

On the Sunday after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Mr. Wright said the attacks were a consequence of violent American policies. Four years later he wrote that the attacks had proved that “people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West went on its merry way of ignoring Black concerns.”

Provocative Assertions

Such statements involve “a certain deeply embedded anti-Americanism,” said Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative group that studies religious issues and public policy. “A lot of people are going to say to Mr. Obama, are these your views?”

Mr. Obama says they are not.
[...]
Despite the canceled invocation, Mr. Wright prayed with the Obama family just before his presidential announcement. Asked later about the incident, the Obama campaign said in a statement, “Senator Obama is proud of his pastor and his church.”
[...]
Mr. Wright, who has long prided himself on criticizing the establishment, said he knew that he may not play well in Mr. Obama’s audition for the ultimate establishment job.

“If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me,” Mr. Wright said with a shrug. “I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.”
Surely he read Alex Beam's article in the Boston Globe, responding to the New York Times' article - wishing that Obama would be able to get past the upcoming Jeremiah Wright debacle.
Meanwhile: President Obama? Not this time
By Alex Beam The Boston Globe
Published: May 10, 2007
[...]
Let me repeat: I wouldn't mind living in a country where Barack Obama is president. Brains; candor; charisma; ambition hitched to a work ethic; I admire those qualities. But frankly, the people who've ponied up $4,600 for Obama in this election cycle might as well have piled the money on the kitchen table and set fire to it. Or donated it to the Audubon Society, which has a lot better chance of being in business a year from now than Obama's presidential campaign.

If you listen closely, the silent dog whistle is already blowing for the Obama candidacy, and the tune it is playing is taps.
[...]
Last week, The New York Times profiled Obama's spiritual adviser, Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. and his Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Wright is an inspirational minister responsible for Obama's embrace of Christian values and mission. The Times politely calls Wright's politics "Afrocentric," but Obama's political rivals will call them black separatist when it behooves them to do so. So, in a high-stakes, nationally televised debate, Obama might be called upon to defend his pastor and church, or abjure his faith.
[...]

Interestingly, Beam - an Obama fan - predicted that Obama wouldn't make it very far precisely because of Jeremiah Wright and the radical theology that Obama embraced. Of course, Beam didn't imagine that the MSM would simply swoon over Barry and not ask him a single tough question about his relationship Wright (or any of the other shady Chicago characters).

As I've pointed out previously, I'd be absolutely pissed if I were a Democratic voter - pissed that the MSM isn't asking my primary candidates the tough questions that they're sure to face in the general election.

Barry - This won't suffice: Jeremiah isn't an acquaintance. He saved you and provided you a spiritual home - a home that you couldn't find in other churches in Chicago; he married you; he baptized your children; he dedicated your house (that Tony Rezko helped you to buy); and he prayed with you before you announced your candidacy; you've given him 20 large; your political philosophy and book are cribbed from his sermon.

His views on Farrakhan, AIDS, Iraq, and AmeriKKKa were all known to you before today.

Shame on you for thinking you can fool the American people with your flowery rhetoric and the obsequious media.

Gateway Pundit has some additional insight.

Best of the Web provides info about what finally pushed Obama to denounce Wright - Wright's claim that Obama's distancing himself for political expediency:
[...]Fox on Obama's response:
Obama said he was particularly "angered" by that suggestion.

"If Reverend Wright thinks that that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well--based on his remarks yesterday I may not know him as well as I thought either," Obama said.
Here are some of the other things Wright said, according to Milbank:
  • The Golden Rule justifies the 9/11 attacks: "His claim that the September 11 attacks mean 'America's chickens are coming home to roost'? Wright defended it: 'Jesus said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic divisive principles.' "
  • Farrakhan good, Israel Bad: "Louis said 20 years ago that Zionism, not Judaism, was a gutter religion. He was talking about the same thing United Nations resolutions say, the same thing now that President Carter's being vilified for and Bishop Tutu's being vilified for. And everybody wants to paint me as if I'm anti-Semitic because of what Louis Farrakhan said 20 years ago. He is one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century."
  • AIDS is a U.S. government plot: An oldie but a goodie. "I believe our government is capable of doing anything," Wright said.
Obama did, finally, denounce these comments specifically. But what particularly angered him was the suggestion that Obama is insincere. Well, we all know the real enemy is cynicism!

So, was Obama sincere? Did he spent 20 years as an intimate of Wright and a parishioner of his church without ever having an inkling that the guy is a wacko hatemonger?

If so, can you think of anything more terrifying than sending such a naïf to the White House while there's a war on?
[...]
heh - terrifying indeed.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pretty, Pretty Please?

From the Guardian:

Now Sky One is hoping to continue the successful reinvention of the genre with a
multimillion-pound remake of the 1970s British favourite Blake's 7. The
broadcaster yesterday announced that it had approved the development of two new
scripts from the production company that holds the rights to the series.
It
will hope to retain the addictive plots, realism and moral ambiguity of the
original, which featured Roj Blake and his crew on the run from a totalitarian
government called the Federation which rules the galaxy with an iron fist.


Blake's 7 was a delicious treat for me growing up. It was so far from the staple of TV science fiction at the time. There was sex, there was violence, there was moral ambiguity and anti-hero's. It was in short adult. Which for me as an early teen was simply indescribable. It was as far from Ewoks as someone could get. All of the characters had ulterior motives, all were fatally flawed, it was only a matter of time before one of the characters would turn on the others. They were doomed, they deserved to be doomed, yet you couldn't help rooting for them.

In St. Louis, it played after midnight on Sunday nights as I remember. This would have had to have been in the mid-80's... One of those PBS buys BBC programs for air situations.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian